Sunday, August 14, 2016


In the bus, just having said goodbye to Tai-chan
Summiting is always a triumph, but what goes up must come down.

And flying from Japan to Montreal is the worst of the worst. Oh no—flying from Japan to Montreal through the U.S. is the penultimate Worst Journey In The World.

I will not go into the details of going through customs and immigration and security lines with your bags in two countries, one of them being one of the most disorganized in the world, and we'll just stick with Vancouver.

You get to Vancouver after an interminable 11+hour flight and have to offload any luggage and join the inevitable snakeline—you know the one—and depending on your luck, it will take you a weary ten minutes, or a hellish 40.

A surly immigration officer will cap off your happiness, and then there will be luggage inspection, checkin (you can never find a checkin desk, because WoW! You're in the Interational Arrivals terminal and you have to go to the Domestic Departures terminal.

It's always a throw of the dice . . . be pessimistic and it'll go smoothly. Be optimistic and no doubt it will be a nightmare.

But that is Part II of the journey, and I haven't even really begun Part I . . .

It doesn't get any better than THIS:


  1. I thought YOU didn't have to go through homeland security sensei Oo!

    I went through the JFK one when coming and god I felt awful afterwards and overwhelmed for the rest of the time. Only when a pakistani-canadian lady started speaking to me that I realized it's the way they do things and that I'm not exception.

    I spent 60 minutes with the guy and he started yelling at me at some point and I let my nervousness get the best of me. But it's over.

    To think I was told JFK is nicer than Boston. What do they do to people at Boston then???

  2. Hmm. Going through the States has now become a total nightmare—for an aging white male. I can't imagine what going through must be like for a young muslim woman; you have my eternal sympathies.

    I never want to go through the US unless I'm actually GOING to the US. If I don't absolutely HAVE to, I never will.